Justice Shri Narayan Shukla (pictured above) of the Allahabad High Court has gone on leave, days after an inquiry report made “adverse remarks” against him in connection with the Medical Council of India bribery case, The Indian Express reported on Wednesday. Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra had set up the inquiry panel, which reportedly submitted its report around January 20 and January 21.

After the report, Chief Justice DB Bhosale of the Allahabad High Court withdrew all judicial work from Shukla, and his name was missing from the roster for Tuesday, the Hindustan Times reported. Shukla refused to resign or seek voluntary retirement, the newspaper said, quoting an unidentified source.

Misra is likely to recommend Shukla’s removal to President Ram Nath Kovind “any time”, the source said. Shukla joined the Allahabad High Court in 2005 and was set to retire in July 2020.

The alleged scam involves some medical colleges which were denied permission to run by the Medical Council of India. A middleman allegedly assured the colleges that the judiciary would allow them to run. The institutes then allegedly paid the middleman to facilitate this.

In August 2017, Shukla passed an order granting permission to one such medical college to admit students, despite a Supreme Court order restraining such action.

In its preliminary inquiry report in September 2017, the Central Bureau of Investigation said a retired Odisha High Court judge, IM Quddusi, and the chairman of the trust that runs some of the institutes had met Shukla in August and “delivered [to him] illegal gratification”. On September 19, the CBI filed an FIR against Quddusi and others for allegedly bribing public officials – it did not mention Shukla though.

The CBI then conducted several raids and found that all the accused had hatched a criminal conspiracy to obtain judicial orders from High Courts and the Supreme Court in favour of the trust. Quddusi was arrested after this. He was later released on bail.

On September 4, Shukla allegedly made handwritten corrections to his own September 1 order, and gave permission to certain medical colleges to admit students despite a ban by the Medical Council of India.

The CBI is now keen on seeking Dipak Misra’s permission again to file a case against Shukla, sources told The Indian Express.